Press release

New car registrations | December 2020

Commentary on the 2020 new car transaction data from the SMMT

Ian Plummer, Auto Trader’s Commercial Director, says: “The automotive industry had a lot thrown at last year, with Covid restrictions closing showrooms, trading tariffs in question as Brexit loomed, and with the government changing the goalposts again on the sale of new ICE vehicles, it’s not surprising that new car sales have taken a hit.

“There have however been some bright spots as we’ve seen a healthy rise in the number of EVs on our roads. With consumer interest in greener technologies increasing, coupled with a plethora of new models now available, the green transition has certainly begun. If we were to see this continued level of uptake in EVs then we anticipate that sales of new EVs and plug in hybrids will overtake diesel cars in 2021, and then pure EVs will overtake those of their internal combustion engine counterparts in 2026.

“The industry, with everything that it has had to deal with in the year, has also responded and adapted remarkably quickly. We’ve seen retailers and manufacturers begin to shift their selling methods, with many launching new online elements of the car buying journey, enabling them to operate within the confines of click and collect and home delivery. Being able to buy a car fully online or at least do more elements of the journey online was always coming, but the pandemic and the restrictions that its brought have only accelerated both the technology required to fulfil these services and consumer adoption of these services. This is a trend that’s set to continue into this year.

“As we look ahead to 2021, notwithstanding negative dents to sales from the current and any further national lockdowns, data suggests that sales will bounce back to c.2 million levels. Although not as high as we saw in 2019, we certainly aren’t expecting levels to dip down to what we saw during the global financial crisis. Consumer confidence levels, historically the key driver of the new car market, remain relatively strong as does the availability of good credit options, which bode well for the new car market.”

This week saw the highest level of new electric car advert views on Auto Trader since the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol & diesel vehicles was announced, with almost 14% of all new car advert views being for an electric car last Thursday. Will we see this trend continue? https://t.co/sczaVjTeoV
It’s all hands on deck for this week’s tip of the week where @AndrewKorpela shares some best practises to help you keep your forecourt full and ensure the stock on your forecourt is presented in the best possible way. https://t.co/6Lsf00QIRM
In our next webinar, our CEO Nathan Coe joins us to answer the question “Are Auto Trader Buying Cars?” Register now and join us live to find out what he has to say along with all our latest market updates and insights 👉https://t.co/METGnTcqB8 https://t.co/UT1hMfHtqo
The number of people viewing electric vehicles on our platform continues to grow and right now it is the @Tesla Model S that is attracting more advert views than any other electric vehicle on our platform. https://t.co/Q0c8imqzCP
The number of people viewing electric vehicles on our platform continues to grow and right now it is the @Tesla Model S that is attracting more advert views than any other electric vehicle on our platform. https://t.co/Q0c8imqzCP
When it comes to city driving, the @renault_uk Captur came out top at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021, winning the Best Car for City Drivers award. https://t.co/FrHpVBTLvb
Buyers looking at petrol and diesel vehicles are increasingly considering an electric vehicle. But considerations are comparatively low when we look at those considering a plug-in hybrid, with 40.6% of such buyers considering an electric vehicle. https://t.co/cyfmYVw5xk
Wondering what's next for car dealers now that restrictions have been eased? Check out last week's webinar to find out what you can expect over the coming months and how to prepare👉 https://t.co/bGqkGxArP3 https://t.co/79L9B623fs
How are our vehicle valuations calculated? @nchking has the answer, and shares exactly how our award winning valuations are calculated entirely by data. https://t.co/u0HIGWAXot
Fantastic to see our winners getting the recognition they deserve! https://t.co/1vrF4Tjo2e

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